With plenty of uncertainty still surrounding the 2020 NFL season because of COVID-19, it sounds like the National Football League is looking into giving teams even more flexibility in the event that something happens.
NFL practice squads were to expand from 10 to 12 players in 2020. Now, there’s internal talk about expanding to as many as 16 for greater roster flexibility for positive Covid tests, sources tell me and @judybattista. NFLPA would have to co-sign but that’s more jobs for players.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 18, 2020
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, there are talks about potentially expanding the practice squads of each NFL team to as many as 16 players for the upcoming season, in part due to the potential for players testing positive for COVID-19.
As you can see from Garafolo’s tweet, this season the practice squad was already set to expand from 10 players to 12 for each team. Now it appears that they could expand again. Garafolo notes that the NFLPA would have to sign off on such a move, but since it would create as many as 128 more jobs for players around the league that would likely be something the Players Association would welcome.
This would be the third expansion for the practice squad in recent years. In 2014 the league expanded practice squads from 8 players to 10, and the move from 10 to 12 was set to happen with the 2020 season.
These talks are obviously in the pretty early stages, so it doesn’t sound as though anything is imminent, but if this does happen, it means that the Vikings are likely going to be hanging on to the vast majority of their 15-member draft class from this past April and could be given more opportunities to develop them into solid contributors.
This would be pretty big if it happens, so obviously it’s something that we’ll be keeping an eye on.